Day 1: Australia –– Rome
Depart Australia today to begin your incredible Italian holiday.
Day 2: Rome
Welcome to Italy! Arrive in Rome and make your own way to your hotel. You are then at leisure to enjoy this historic city and relax after your flight.
Your hotel: Patria (or similar)
Located only 300 meters away from Stazione Termini, in Rome’s historic center, Hotel Patria welcomes you in elegant rooms, with all modern comforts, in a warm and relaxing atmosphere. If you are looking for a hotel with great tradition and prestige, this hotel offers a comfortable facility well served by public transportation that will take you to the city’s most beautiful places.
Day 3: Rome (B)
This morning, explore Rome onboard a Hop on Hop off bus service. Ensure to stop by Piazza Venezia with the impressive Il Vittoriano monument, the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, St. Peter’s, the Trevi Fountain and more. The ticket includes Skip-the-line passes to both the Vatican Museum and the Colosseum, allowing you to access these world-famous sites with ease.
Day 4: Rome – Naples – Pompeii – Rome (B)
Today explore Naples and Pompeii as part of a guided tour. Depart Rome in a southerly direction as you take the ‘Highway of the Sun’, crossing the Roman countryside through the area known as the ‘Castelli Romani’. On the way you will see the Abbey of Montecassino, noted for its famous battle and complete destruction during the Second World War.
Descending towards the port of Mergellina and following the coastal road, you arrive in the ancient fishing quarter of Santa Lucia and see the impressive Castel dell’Ovo. The city tour continues crossing the historical centre to see Piazza del Plebiscito, the Royal Palace, the Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, the San Carlo Opera House, the Gallery of Umberto I and the imposing Maschio Angioino.
Upon leaving the city, cross the valley of Mount Vesuvius, passing the towns of Ercolano, Torre del Greco and Torre Annunziata before finally arriving at Pompeii, where you stop for lunch. Later, visit the excavations on foot with a local guide on an archaeological journey through the ancient city. During a 2-hour excursion you will see some of what has been discovered in more than 1,700 years since Pompeii was covered by ashes during the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. Head back to Rome at the end of the day.
Day 5: Rome – – Florence (B)
This morning, make your way to the station for your train to Florence. Relax as the train takes you north through Lazio to the capital of Tuscany. Make your own way to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Your hotel: Delle Nazioni (or similar)
This charming property is located in the heart of downtown Florence, just to the east of the central train station – Santa Maria Novella. It is ideally situated, providing excellent access to the main tourist attractions like the Duomo, as well as the shopping districts, conference centre and exhibition halls.
Day 6: Florence – San Gimignano – Siena – Florence (B)
Experience a day in the Tuscan countryside, admiring Siena and San Gimignano as you sample a taste of local wines. Departing Florence, start in Monteriggioni, well known worldwide for its wine and countryside charm, where woods alternate with vineyards and olive groves, in a landscape dotted with Romanesque churches, farmhouses, villas and castles.
Continue to Siena, where a local guide will lead you through steep medieval streets, admiring the palaces until you reach the Cathedral, Palazzo Comunale (Municipal Building) and Piazza del Campo where the Palio race takes place every year. Move on to San Gimignano, one of the most fascinating examples of medieval townships, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The tour escort will lead you into the heart of the village where you have free time to discover the beautiful squares, buildings, churches and suggestive alleyways. As an added bonus you have the chance to taste arguably the best ice cream in the world that won the last two editions of the Ice Cream World Championship. Finally, stop at a farm house for some Tuscan wine tasting with a little snack of sliced cold meats, bruschetta and cheese. Return to Florence in the late afternoon.
Day 7: Florence – – La Spezia (B)
This morning, make your way to the station for your train to Liguria and La Spezia. Enjoy the views as the train takes you west until you arrive at the Ligurian coast. Make your own way to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Your hotel: CDH Hotel La Spezia (or similar)
CDH Hotel La Spezia is a 4-star establishment located within the vibrant city centre, near the shopping area as well as the ferries to the magnificent Cinque Terre. This luxury hotel offers modern, affordable yet comfortable accommodation. Guests can relax in their spacious rooms and enjoy outstanding modern facilities such as internet access. The friendly staff is on hand 24 hours a day to assist with requests. In addition, guests can easily access Portovenere, Lerici, and the Cinque Terre within just 10 minutes by train.
Day 8: Cinque Terre (B)
Explore the Cinque Terre with all its sightseeing opportunities on your own today. Equipped with a local rail pass you are free to roam the neighbouring townships without hassle. We suggest visiting the five villages Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, all just a short train ride away and famous for their beauty. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces to cultivate grapes and olives on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. The breath-taking views of harbours far below the wild but hospitable coastline along with the medieval fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colours make this a memorable day.
Day 9: La Spezia – – Milan (B)
This morning, make your way to the station for your train to Milan. Enjoy the views as the train takes you to Lombardy. Make your own way to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Your hotel: Michelangelo (or similar)
The strategic location, just a short walk from Milano Centrale Station, will allow you to easily reach every corner of the city. Treat yourself with a thoughtless stay, just relax in the hot tub after a long busy day and regenerate at David Bar & Restaurant.
Day 10: Milan – Bellagio – Como – Milan (B)
After your 1-hour coach journey from Milan, start your tour of Como visiting the historic centre. The tour continues with a 2-hour cruise on the lake. Admire the lakeside villas and keep an eye out for Villa d’Este at Cernobbio, a luxurious hotel set in tropical gardens. The mild Mediterranean climate ensures an abundance of exotic and rare plants thrive year-round. Docking at the town of Bellagio, one of the most famous towns on the lake, you can follow the steep alleys running up from the lake and stop for a coffee or gelato at one of the lively cafes housed in grand historic buildings. Spend some time at your leisure here before cruising to Cadenabbia in time for the journey back to Milan.
Please note that seasonal variations to the itinerary apply. In winter the cruise is replaced with a funicular to Brunate with great vistas of the lake.
Day 11: Milan – – Venice (B)
Make your way to the station for your train to Venice. The trains take you west towards the “Queen of the Adriatic”. Once you arrive, make your own way to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Don’t miss St. Marks’ Square, St. Marks’ Basilica, the Doge’s Palace and Bridge of Sighs.
Your hotel: Hesperia (or similar)
This little hotel is situated in the historic centre, looking onto the Canale di Cannaregio. It has recently been restored, using carefully chosen traditional materials and, while offering every modern comfort, still retains a typical Venetian style. The Hotel Hesperia provides an excellent, personalized service, thanks to the fact that the owners are always present, and available to give their constant care and attention to the needs of their guests.
Day 12: Venice – – Australia (B)
Bid farewell to Italy and make your own way to the airport today.
Day 13: Australia
Arrive home today.